SME Story: Interview with Muneeb Mushtaq of Airzai  SME Story: Interview with Muneeb Mushtaq of Airzai 
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SME Story: Interview with Muneeb Mushtaq of Airzai 

SME Story: Interview with Muneeb Mushtaq of Airzai 

Airzai, a tech-fragrance company, is leading the charge in creating ‘the future of fragrance and wellness’ by leveraging technology

Zubina Ahmed

What is the core concept of Airzai? How is it bringing a change in the home fragrance industry?

Airzai, a tech-fragrance company, is leading the charge in creating ‘the future of fragrance and wellness’ by leveraging technology, specifically artifical intelligence (AI) and machine learning to build what they call “the smartest fragrance diffuser in the world”. The core concept is very simple. Airzai aims to be the smartest fragrance diffuser in the world. What that means is that the founders are using their prior extensive experience in tech and AI to bring true disruption in the age-old fragrance industry. 

Many consumers don’t realise that candles are extremely toxic and in general dangerous to our health, especially kids and pets. Moreover, they can be costly as you are literally burning the money. The other solutions in the market such as no-name brand diffusers contain synthetic and sometimes toxic ingredients in their oils. 

Airzai aims to target all these pain points and deliver on a fragrance experience that is premium, natural, trustworthy and leveraging technology to enhance the fragrance experience. The flagship product, Airzai Aroma, is a patent-pending innovative smart-home diffuser that uplifts the mood and transforms the home into smelling like a luxury resort.

What are some of the challenges you faced when starting off?

One of the biggest challenges was to find the right hardware partners, both on industrial design and then the technical side. After losing personal funds on making wrong hires, we came across Fred Bould, who is regarded as one the most experienced and celebrated industrial designers of our time. It was an even bigger challenge getting him onboard, but our persistance paid off, with Fred Bould joining us as the chief designer of Airzai. 

 

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Give us an overview of your funding, operations and your plans to utilise it.

So far Airzai had raised over $1.5m in funding. We recently closed on another $2.5m recently and are now raising $5m to launch the product. The expected date for close is Q3 2022. Originally the funds were used for R&D, protecting IP and AI. Now the focus is on manufacturing, marketing and PR. 

What are some of the growth and expansion plans you have in your pipeline?

We can’t share much just yet but the plan is to originally sell the product through online channels beginning with the US market but we have recently seen quite a lot of interest in the UAE market so this could potentially be one of our launch markets. We opened our limited pre-order campaign mid-July and got sold out in less than four hours. There seems to be a lot of excitement around Airzai aroma, which we are very excited about.

What are your predictions for how the perfume and fragrance market will evolve going forward in the region?

The industry is growing at a CAGR of 7.3 per cent with the total addressable market (TAM) of over $10bn by 2028 globally. The biggest catalyst to contribute to this boost is the pandemic. As more and more people worked from home and personal spaces, they realised the importance of fragrances. Our olfactory system is one of the most active and sensitive senses that we often ignore. 

Aside from making the environment pleasant, scents and essential oils are known to drive health and mental wellness benefits as well. And with depression, anxiety and other similar conditions rising at alarming rates, consumers are keen to bring unique solutions including fragrances into their lifestyle in order to drive wellness. 

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